UEFA Europa League: Tottenham 3-1 Shamrock Rovers Full Match Highlights and Goals
UEFA Europa League: Tottenham 3-1 Shamrock Rovers Full Match Highlights and Goals REUTERS

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Tottenham avoided a European shock at White Hart Lane Thursday after coming from a goal down to eventually defeat brave Irish league side Shamrock Rovers.

With the north London derby to come at the weekend, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp opted to rest many of his key players, although he brought back Aaron Lennon after a month out through injury.

Tottenham had to fight back from a goal down to defeat Shamrock Rovers after the Irish side took a surprise lead shortly after the break but three quick fire goals from Roman Pavyluchenko, Jermain Defoe and Giovani dos Santos gave Tottenham their first three points of the 2011/12 Europa League campaign.

Shamrock Rovers took the lead after a superb free-kick from Gary McCabe was palmed away by Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini but Patrick Sullivan fired in the rebound and in the penalty melee which ensued Rice prodded the ball into the net.

The goal woke Tottenham up and the highly impressive Dos Santos supplied the delivery and Pavlyuchenko rose high above the Irish defenders to head home. It was the Russian's first goal of the season and the relief was palpable around White Hart lane.

Cue a Tottenham surge with Defoe heading home a cross from substitute Andros Townsend two minutes later and Dos Santos making it five minutes of misery for Rovers when he smashed home his first goal for Tottenham since February 2009 with a powerful left-foot drive.

After the game, Tottenham manger Harry Redknapp said that he feared his side were going to be on the end of one of greatest European shocks but had faith his side would eventually win the game.

They got the first goal and I was worried for sure," he told BBC Sport.

"But we were always going to create chances and it was just a matter of putting them away. When you pay players a lot of money and give them a fantastic lifestyle all you can ask is that they come in every day and work hard and this group do," he added.